FARMINGTON — Rep. Tom Saviello, District 90, delivered a State of Maine Proclamation to the Maine Extension Homemakers Council on May 1 at the spring meeting held at the Elks Lodge in Augusta. It proclaimed May 1, 2010, as Maine Extension Homemakers Council Day and was signed by Gov. John E. Baldacci. Saviello also spoke about the values found in the Homemakers Creed, written by Caroline Mayo from the Franklin County Extension Homemakers.

The meeting was also a MEHC 60th anniversary celebration with a luncheon honoring past presidents: Immediate Past President Jackie Conant of Oxford County, Pam Dupont of Hancock, Marilyn Wheeler of Aroostook, Moneda “Bunny” Worster of Somerset and Irene Hutchinson of Oxford. Each received a corsage, made by MEHC Secretary Susan Buddemeyer, and an item symbolizing their term of office. Dessert was a cake decorated with the MECH symbol and “Dragonfly Courage,” art designed by MEHC President Barbara Hathaway of Wilton.

The Extension Homemakers are a volunteer group providing educational programs in partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. UMCE Executive Director John Rebar spoke about the trust and partnership UMCE has with the MEHC. UMCE Advisor to the MEHC, Lisa Phelps, spoke about how to increase membership.

Coins for Caring donations were presented by MEHC Treasurer Betty Thompson and a check from Marie Temm of Cumberland County. Albert Philpot announced that the goal had been reached of $15,000 for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Eye Max for Maine.

An Eye Max machine was demonstrated by the patient service director for ALS Maine, Nell Davies, and Betsy Lint from the Skowhegan Extesion Homemakers. The project was taken on in honor of Cheryl Perkin, MEHC 2009 president, who had ALS. Dragonfly Courage designer stationery sales and a quilt raffle are ongoing, with proceeds going to the organization.

Groups from 12 counties were in attendance and reports were given showing the programs and projects held throughout the year. Jackie Conant and Past Presidents Advisor Deb Eckart shared comments about the past president activities. Hathaway gave the annual president’s report for 2009, which stated that reported membership was 703, educational programs, 223; and volunteer hours for other agencies and groups plus organizational service was 31,197.25.

Programs offered through Train The Train workshops were held in the afternoon with Geographical Area of Study presented by Argentina native Gustavo Burkett, who gave examples of family life and work in Argentina. May items were on display including a dried gourd cup with bamboo straws used for sipping tea. Amazing Bee Products was led by Carol Cottrill, master beekeeper, who had samples of honey products. Nature Crafts leader was Donna Bucher, extension advisor, who had nature items that are useful or decorative. These programs will be offered through the Extension Homemaker clubs around Maine. More information on topic programs can be found at local cooperative extension offices.

Membership was called to action by requesting each county group to begin a membership campaign and start by just asking one person to attend and become a member. All are welcome to attend programs and new members are always welcome.

Raffle items were donated from each county. Centerpieces of flowers with a dragonfly in a ceramic vase basket were arranged by Marie Temm and were used as door prizes.

The Weld Extension Homemakers provided an invitation skit, with waving hands, to invite members to attend the fall MEHC meeting on Oct. 22 and 23, at the University of Maine at Farmington North Dining Hall. The Franklin County Extension Homemakers recipe book will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds to benefit ALS.

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